Fiction

The Ache of Home

The Indy Metro bus came to a shuddering halt and deposited Celeste Burroughs at her stop. A plastic shelter enclosed a bench printed with the words “Embrace Mortality.” Celeste looped the cord of her earbuds around her thumb then unwound it, careful not to pull the cord free from her pocket, where it trailed, not […]

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Notes from Liminal Spaces

I am a first generation Japanese Canadian immigrant. I gratefully reside on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples: the Musqueam, the Skwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil Waututh Nations. It was an unusually warm night for mid-March and I had left the glass patio door open to let in the fresh air. I’d already heard […]

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Paradox

This is the original timeline. You know, the one all of us came from. So we can’t do anything to it, or we won’t be born to invent time travel. We can only meddle with other timelines. This is the original timeline. We’re trying to fix things. Unfortunately for you, if we ever do manage […]

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Making the Magic Lightning Strike Me

The client lies slumped across my shoulders. I have an arm around his thigh, another around his upper arm. His immaculately tailored silk pajamas are soft against my hand. They must feel amazing on his body. Right now, the client may as well be a loaded barbell, except his body gives and his weight shifts […]

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Read Before Use

The basement of Satellite City’s main library was made up of several levels dug deep into the earth. Even this early, several hours before dawn, each level was filled with scholars poring over old documents, students fetching and carrying, and stewards and handmaids scurrying about. Alia flashed her cartouche at the attendant on duty and […]

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Origins

I am starving. Performing miracles for you—manifesting money from the air; deconstructing diseases; repairing broken bodies, imbalanced minds—costs me energy, and entropy nickel-and-dimes my soul day by day. So my hunger never leaves me, only grows. And there is no food for me here; I have foresworn eating anyone else. I am resigned to die. […]

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Sun, Moon, Dust

Allpa received the magic sword from his grandmother, as she lay dying. “I’m afraid I don’t really need a sword, grandma,” he said. “No, nor do you deserve it,” she snapped at him. She was a fierce old woman with a nose like a hawk’s beak and skin falling away in folds from her cheekbones. […]

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And Then There Were (N-One)

I considered declining the invitation. It was too weird, too expensive, too far, too dangerous, too weird. Way too weird. An invitation like that would never come again. I’d regret it if I didn’t go. It lay on our kitchen table for three weeks while I argued out the pros and cons with Mabel. She […]

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An Abundance of Fish

Spring festival, before the fish arrive: Teresa Teng croons from the radio; I hum along as I hang paper decorations, the reds and golds bright against our cream-colored walls. You’re in the kitchen making dinner—Shanghai-style sauteéd niangao, braised cod, stir-fried green beans. Sizzle, pop. Water runs from the sink, interrupting the music for a moment, […]

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